What happens when love and the law collide in marriage?
My husband wrote the following post on his blog sometimes back. Since his blog is no longer active, I thought I’d rerun it here since it’s so powerful!
This past week my wife and I have had one of those “differences in opinion.”
We went into that parallel universe in married life that is filled with logic and emotion, skewed to justify ourselves and protect our vulnerabilities, effectively barring us out of the each other’s heart.
Now, it is important that I mention that it was my actions that caused the shift into this “twilight zone.”
One of the major triggers was the fact that my wife had asked me on Saturday to “help” her with the dishes. We were both at home and savoring the one day we had together in the house.
I however was transfixed on the computer and only looked up late in the night, feeling too tired to wash dishes.
That was the beginning of a bad week, reaction after reaction drawing us deeper into our trenches and fortifying our positions.
It came out very clearly that I was not helping enough around the house. Communication broke down. Conversations became unheard of and quality time non-existent.
Finally, the only way forward I could see was to write down weekly tasks that I would put up in the kitchen and follow.
The relationship had taken a beating by that time but the rules got us on our way back. We eventually had a long hard conversation and made up at the end of it.
What I found interesting though is that as we made up, the tasks became less of an issue.
Taking out the trash and washing dishes, folding clothes from the clothesline, not so bad when we’re back in love. Granted, they remain chores but with a different quality to it.
It got me thinking, as my marriage often does, about my relationship with God.
In life many times I become self absorbed and doing the right thing gradually seems more and more like a chore.
It changes the condition of my heart.
Conversation with God wanes, prayer suffers, quality time, reading His word and communion loses value in my life.
Reaching out to others with the love of Christ becomes a task, and the only thing that can get me back on track is the Law.
Not unlike the manner in which we had to come up with the “law” of the household outlining what I am to do on a regular basis, God gave us the Law to obey, put up clearly in His Word and in our hearts.
But what a paradigm shift when we “make up with God” and get back in love with Him, after we have a deep hard heart-to-heart conversation.
The Law, becomes almost a non-issue, because we love him, then we do what pleases Him without as much of a struggle.
Jesus said (John 14:15) “If you love me you will obey what I command”.
Never quite saw it like that before.
When I love someone, desiring to please them is a natural unction.
And if the person I love wants the best for me, I can trust that what I’m doing to please them is good not just for them, but also for me.
How much more God, whose heart is without guile, whose love is beyond manipulation and whose power is beyond equal?
If I love the Lord, obeying Him will be a desire of my heart rather than a task to avoid.
This verse had always hit me as some sort of emotional blackmail to be honest, but with this new perspective, it takes a completely new meaning.
Loving God means I will do what He loves.
“If you love me, you will obey what I command” John 14:15
Question – Has the revelation of real love made marriage easier? Do you struggle to love and obey?
To find out how my wife and I weathered the less-than-sweet years of marriage and how to you too can use the storms to build a strong marriage, pick up her book Blues to Bliss: Creating Your Happily Ever After in the Early Years. It’s filled with stories, just like this one, sharing what God taught us about love, grace and intentional giving. And how you too can turn around your marriage from blues, to bliss. Buy the book Amazon Paperback I Kindle I Barnes & Noble I PDF I UK/Europe PDF . Or Click here to go to the book page.
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